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Thread: What do music people mean when they talk about duration?

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    Default What do music people mean when they talk about duration?

    So, for example when Stockhausen says of Moment Form

    I am speaking of musical forms in which apparently nothing less is being attempted than to explode (even to overthrow) the temporal concept—or, put more accurately: the concept of duration. . . .
    and when Cage says of Satie (using the expression time lengths, which I assume is the same sort of idea as duration)

    . And that new idea [of form: It is static rather than progressive in character] can be perceived in the work of Anton Webern and Erick Satie. With Beethoven the parts of a composition were defined by means of harmony. With Satie and Webern they were defined by means of time lengths. The question of structure is so basic
    Last edited by Mandryka; Feb-21-2021 at 18:39.

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    Senior Member Phil loves classical's Avatar
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    I believe Cage is referring to the traditional sense of duration, as in of note values. Webern's Symphony is striking in its use of different note durations, and the bass pattern in Satie's Gymnopedies are 'static' and unchanging in rhythm and note durations.

    Stockhausen seems to be referring to a different meaning of duration as in overall length of a piece. There was another part he wrote in addition to your quote regarding moment form "In works of this kind the start and stop are open and yet they cease after a certain duration". He's challenging the narrative of a piece, and traditional form. He wanted self-contained moments starting and stopping. In Kontatke, there are pauses between certain sections.
    Last edited by Phil loves classical; Feb-22-2021 at 00:59.
    "Forgive me, Majesty. I'm a vulgar man. But I assure you, my music is not.“ Mozart

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    It would be interesting to find a piece by Cage which is structured by note values. The issue with Stockhausen is about how to assure coherence. Yes he wanted a piece to be a sort of mosaic of intense moments, each with their own distinctive texture and timbre etc. But he was also keen that all these moments cohere.

    I’m very keen to find something about how Cage constructed The Music of Changes for example - I mean the details - it’s not random notes, there are phrases.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Feb-22-2021 at 10:21.

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    Senior Member Tikoo Tuba's Avatar
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    There exist density , dynamics and duration .

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    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post
    It would be interesting to find a piece by Cage which is structured by note values. The issue with Stockhausen is about how to assure coherence. Yes he wanted a piece to be a sort of mosaic of intense moments, each with their own distinctive texture and timbre etc. But he was also keen that all these moments cohere.

    I’m very keen to find something about how Cage constructed The Music of Changes for example - I mean the details - it’s not random notes, there are phrases.
    This article goes into more than what you asked about but there is one example of a chart from MoC.

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    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    The title of this thread reminded me of a book by Raymond Carver: What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.

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    Senior Member ArtMusic's Avatar
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    Duration is an amount of time or how long or short a note, phrase, section, or composition lasts.
    "You must have no dependence on your own genius. If you have great talents, industry will improve them; if you have but moderate abilities, industry will supply their deficiency." Sir Joshua Reynolds, PRA, FRS, FRSA (1723 - 1792)

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